The Frankfort City Council approved the proposed wastewater expansion project Monday night by passing a pair of ordinances by identical votes of 5-2.
“I think it’s something that we realized was absolutely necessary,” said Frankfort City Councilman Jim Moyer, who was running the meeting in the absence of Mayor Chris McBarnes. “So, I wasn’t surprised at all that we were able to get that done.”
The council passed an ordinance that amended the sewer rates and charges for the City of Frankfort and another ordinance to authorize the acquisition, construction and installation of certain improvements to the sewage works system of the City of Frankfort along with the issuance of revenue bonds to provide for the cost of the project, which is $25.6 million with a not to exceed limit of $27 million.
“It’s extremely important because we were to the point where we were over 90 percent capacity,” said Moyer. “That would’ve supported a few homes or it would’ve supported what we call a dry industry that doesn’t use water or sewage. .But, if we get something else in the food area where they use a lot of water in the processing, we couldn’t have taken it on.”
Councilmen Eric Woods and Lewis Wheeler both voted against the expansion. Woods explained his rationale for that vote.
“I firmly believe we had an opportunity to use economic development funds through the RDC (Frankfort Redevelopment Commission) to lower the overall rate increase needed to put $5 million on the project through RDC funds for the part of the project that would pretty much take care of economic development out to the west,” said Woods. “I was hoping to see that come in well under below 50 with those additional funds. The council wanted to go with a straight rate increase to fund the project. I will respect that and honor it.”
In other news, Woods also introduced a policy regarding non-profit organizations making specific funding requests for various items.
“What we came up with was tasking the Finance Committee to develop a policy and procedure so that when they (the non-profits) make the request we will have a guideline to basically help vet the information, help prioritize it when we bring it back to the council for a final decision on whether to fund and what that amount would be,” said Woods.
Woods said the draft policy will be ready for resolution in a month.
“That will allow us to advertise and let the non-profits know what we have available, how we can help them and then give them a time frame,” said Woods.
Woods added non-profits would basically be allowed to apply in August and September which would give the council a month to vet the information and then inform those asking for funds on a decision in early November.